4 DIY Home Security Hacks for Reinforcing Your Front Door

Updated: Dec. 07, 2023

Up your home security with these simple and cost-effective hacks to reinforce your front door.

Man installing new door lock on exterior doorVALENTYN SEMENOV/ EYEEM/GETTY IMAGES

For many families, a home break-in is their worst nightmare. Fortunately, there are many affordable and beginner-friendly DIY projects to install home security that can be used to reinforce the main point of entry for would-be burglars: the front door. Because a door’s weakest point is right around the knob, these hacks will focus on plate reinforcements, as well as sturdy screws and powerful deadbolts.

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Professional Locksmith Installing Or Repairing A New Deadbolt Lock on a House Exterior Door With The Inside Internal Parts Of The Lock Visible
photovs/Getty Images

Replace (or Get) a Deadbolt

The strongest defense you have against intruders is definitely a deadbolt lock. If your front door doesn’t currently have one—or it’s over seven years old—it’s worth installing a new one. Purchase a new bolt from a reliable hardware store, then unscrew the old one, clean and size the deadbolt hole, and attach the new piece. Be sure to hand-drive the screws so the wood doesn’t splinter.

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Replacing Striking Plate Screws for Front Door Reinforcement Hack Via Facebook
Via Facebook.com

Replace the Screws in the Strike Plates

The next reinforcement you should turn to is a well-adhered strike plate. Most contractors install both the lockset and deadbolt strike plates with the small provided screws. To amp up the security, replace those wimpy screws with no. 8 x 4-inch stainless steel varieties that go through not just the molding but into the house frame. Be sure to drill the screws in at any angle to ensure the firmest grip and catch the framing. Screws alone may not prevent an extremely determined burglar, but it will certainly deter them and buy you precious time.

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Door Strike Plate Installation with hand and screwdriver
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Replace the Strike Plates

Why stop at just the screws? Replace your strike plates while you’re at it. Find a heavy-duty lipped lockset strike plate and a deadbolt strike plate with four screw holes, stead of the standard two. Install them with the same no. 8 screws as in the previous slide.

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Front Door Reinforcer Wraparound Plate Via Merchant
Via Merchant

Install a Door Wraparound Plate

If two strike plates just aren’t enough for you, it’s time to take out the big guns: a door wraparound plate meant to reinforce the doorknob. With just a screwdriver, drill and tape measure, you can easily install the plate in an afternoon. Just be sure to take accurate measurements to ensure your new plate fits properly.

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Door With Various Locks on light wooden door
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What Can Renters Do to Reinforce Their Doors?

The best approach for renters is likely to speak to their landlords about making these basic adjustments. Some hacks—like replacing screws or strike plates—may not require approval, but for larger installs like putting in a deadbolt or door wraparound plate, you may want to request permission or even contracting help to ensure you don’t risk your security deposit. Additionally, many non-permanent safety solutions can be utilized, such as adding a deadbolt protection device (“flip guard”) or adding affordable door alarms.